Topic X - Pattern Writing Blog Series Wrap Up
When I first had the idea to post about quilt pattern writing back 6 months ago, I started with the idea of a single post. I quickly realized that to really cover the topic on any more than just a superficial level would take a lot of posts, time, and effort. Thank you so much for going through the series with me! I hope that you have found interesting as well as helpful.
Through the series, I have illustrated the process through the development of the Ninja Bears quilt pattern. This pattern is now available as a free digital quilt pattern from my Craftsy shop.
All of the posts are linked up in the Pattern Writing Series tab above to easily be able to reference any of the topics covered. I hope that pin or otherwise save this series for future reference and to share with others if you found the content useful and informative.
I want to leave you invigorated to try your hand at writing that quilt pattern you have had in your head for the last few years or the quilt pattern that all of your friends have been asking for since you first showed them the finished quilt. Writing your first quilt pattern is daunting, time-consuming, and at times very frustrating, but you will have this series to refer to and a whole Facebook Group (which is already up to almost 150 members!) to ask questions of, find testers, and commiserate with. You can do it!
If you have any questions now (or in the future), you can leave them in a comment below or on a particular post and I will answer them.
I asked the guest designers to give some last tips and words of encouragement about pattern writing.
Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts - If you are passionate about designing quilts and offering patterns for those designs, don't be intimidated by the process of pattern writing. It does take a lot of work, but the whole thing can be broken down into steps. It is a rewarding experience to sell a pattern that others can enjoy. So don't give up.
Amy of 13 Spools - I found the book Publish Your Patterns! How to Write, Print, and Market Your Designs (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0971450137?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage) very helpful.
Soma of Whims and Fancies - The most important thing is to have fun with the pattern that you are writing. As with everything else, practice makes pattern writing easier.
Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl - I strongly believe that everyone is creative, and you are doing your best work right now. Trying something new is a leap into the unknown, but remember that you can reach out to your quilting community (whether they be in person or online) for help when you need it.
Anne of Springleaf Studios - If you love designing AND have an interest in explaining how to do it to others then go for it. You just need to understand that you not only need a strong design, but also a clear ability to explain and illustrate how to do it. We’ve gotten used to seeing tutorials on blogs with lots of photo step outs included. A written pattern most likely won’t have all those photos or it would be a book. You need to be able to condense and illustrate while still conveying the same information.
I started by reading the book Amy mentions and found it very helpful with a lot of basic information. Also don't be afraid to ask questions. I totally relate to Yvonne's comment about being wordy. Editing is the hardest part for me too.
Amy of 13 Spools - I’m absolutely positive all of this will seem extremely overwhelming. Honestly, it did to me too, and now I feel like I’ve got this - only a few years after writing my first pattern. And let me tell you - that first pattern was horrible. It was horribly written. No one needed a pattern to make that quilt. The photographs were less than amazing. The layout was lacking. The graphic design was crap. No one bought it. (Probably a good thing.)
That’s ok. That’s what your first project is for. The Sistine Chapel wasn’t Michelangelo's first project, and your first project won’t be amazing. Make it free, share it with others, whatever - or get help! Hire a designer, get a mentor, buy a ton of patterns to scour, take some design classes on CreativeLive or DesignShare. Fail. Get back up again. Fail again. Dust it off. Keep going. There’s no secrets here but hard work, good preparation, and learning from your mistakes.
Anne of Springleaf Studios - If you do decide to write patterns, look at the bigger picture. Will you want to offer printed patterns in the future? It’s easy to have digital pattern that is several pages long. Not so easy to turn that same thing into a printed pattern without major editing.
Christa of Christa Quilts - When choosing to offer print patterns, do your homework and get several different quotes. I found the best prices on printing at gotprint.com online, but you have to buy them in volume.
Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to gain traction. Most shops and distributors don’t respond well to cold calls, i.e. hitting them up at their shops or at quilt market without an appointment. Find out who the buyers are, develop a relationship with them, and conduct yourself professionally at all times. It can take several tries before they are willing to see what you have to offer, but don’t give up. Also, develop a pattern line of about 5-6 patterns before you approach a shop or distributor to carry your line.
Like anything in business, take yourself seriously and don’t give up when the going gets tough. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen!
Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl - We all have things to learn. I struggle with being wordy and wanting to visually represent everything in my patterns. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but if I ever do move toward printing my patterns or having them sold wholesale, I will definitely need to continue to learn the art of editing and culling where appropriate.
And now to celebrate! The guest designers and myself have each donated one (1) digital quilt pattern as a prize so there will be seven (7) winners in all!
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. You can ask a question, add some of your own insight, thank the guest designers, or anything else. One comment per person please.
This giveaway starts today (Friday March 11th) and will run until Wednesday March Dec 16th at 8 p.m. EST. The giveaway is open to everyone around the world. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your e-mail address because if I can't contact you, you can't win.
** Giveaway now closed, comments are still open so if you have a pattern writing related question you can still leave it here. **
Thank you again for joining in with me on this series!!